Have any suggestions for the 3 Count? Let me know via Twitter @plagiarismtoday.
First off today, Joe Mullin at Ars Technica reports that the record labels have emerged victorious in their lawsuit against MP3Skull as a US District Court has issued a default judgment against the site.
The labels filed the lawsuit in April 2015 alleging that MP3Skull was enabling widespread infringement of their content. However, the labels didn’t know who operated the site and, despite their best attempts to serve the owners, the owners never appeared or filed any statements in their defense.
As such, the court issued a default judgment worth $22 million. However, the more important part for the record labels will likely be that the judgment comes with an injunction that they can use to force domain registrars and other third parties working with the site to cease doing so and, in the case of the domains, assign them to the record labels.
Next up today, Ed Christman at Billboard reports that the Department of Justice is looking to alter the ASCAP and BMI consent decrees to impose 100 percent licensing but the U.S. Copyright Office is warning that such a change might violate the rights of foreign rightsholders and harm smaller players in the market.
ASCAP and BMI are the two largest performing rights organizations (PROs), groups that license songs for public performances. They operate under Department of Justice consent decrees that places severe restrictions on their businesses. One of the issues the DoJ is hoping to tackle is fractional licensing, meaning that, a PRO may only have part of the license for some songs, especially if a work has multiple authors. This requires those using a song to purchase licenses from multiple PROs to use a single work.
The DoJ wants to make it so that every PRO that has more than 5% of a license to a song will be forced to offer a 100% license. While this works under copyright as any co-author to a work can enter in unilateral non-excuslive licenses with others, the U.S. Copyright Office fears this could harm the rights for foreign creators and notes that smaller PROs, such as SESAC and Global Music Rights will find it even more difficult to compete.
Finally today, Victor Luckerson at Time reports that Popcorn Time, or rather the original fork of it, is back online after being shuttered for three months due to action from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).
The service, launched in 2014, was dubbed the “Netflix for Piracy” due to the ease with which it made finding and streaming pirated content. The movie studios responded almost immediately and, in November, the site closed though other forks of the open source application carried on.
Now the original Popcorn Time is back online with the original creators at the helm. However, they’ve said they will only be addressing bugs and will not be actively developing the service. The team behind it have largely moved to a legal alternative named Butter that uses much of the same technology.
That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.